Prelims Exam

Current Affairs

1.Rampage Missile

Induction into Indian Armed Forces:

  • The Indian Air Force (IAF) and Navy recently inducted the Rampage missile.

Missile Characteristics:

  • Long-range, supersonic, air-to-ground missile.
  • Capable of hitting targets up to 250 km away.
  • Known as High-Speed Low Drag-Mark 2 Missile in the IAF.

Integration with Aircraft:

  • IAF: Integrated with Su-30 MKI, MiG-29, and Jaguar fighters.
  • Indian Navy: Integrated with MiG-29K naval fighter jets.
  • Allows firing of multiple long-range missiles, including BrahMos (over 400 km range).


  • Procured under emergency powers granted by Defence Ministry after 2020 standoff with China.
  • Offers longer range than Spice-2000 missiles used in Balakot airstrikes (2019).


2.Deep Dive: Blue Holes and The Taam Ja’ Mystery 

What are Blue Holes?

  • Water-filled sinkholes found in coastlines with soluble bedrock (limestone, marble, gypsum).
  • Formed by surface water dissolving rock, widening cracks, and causing collapse.
  • Examples: Dean’s Blue Hole (Bahamas), Dahab Blue Hole (Egypt), Great Blue Hole (Belize).

Taam Ja’ Blue Hole

  • Deepest known underwater sinkhole in the world.
  • Located in Chetumal Bay, Yucatan Peninsula, Mexico.
  • Depth: At least 1,380 feet (420 meters) below sea level.
  • 390 feet deeper than previous record holder: Sansha Yongle Blue Hole (Dragon Hole) in South China Sea (990 feet deep).
  • Mayan name “Taam Ja'” means “deep water.”
  • Nearly circular surface opening with steep sides forming a cone.
  • Covered in biofilms, sediments, limestone, and gypsum ledges.

Yucatan Peninsula (Background)

  • Northeastern projection of Central America into the Atlantic Ocean.
  • Bordered by Gulf of Mexico (west/north) and Caribbean Sea (east).
  • Northern part in Mexico, southern part in Belize and Guatemala.
  • Almost entirely composed of coralline and porous limestone rocks.


3.Chakisaurus Nekul

  • Discovery: Paleontologists in Argentina discovered a new herbivorous dinosaur.
  • Details:
    • Named Chakisaurus nekul.
    • Lived in the Late Cretaceous period (90 million years ago) in Patagonia.
    • Found in Pueblo Blanco Natural Reserve, rich in fossils.
    • Estimated size: 2.5-3 meters long, 70 cm tall.
    • Traits: Fast runner with an unusually downward curved tail.

4.Salmonella Contamination 

  • Context: US rejected Indian spice shipments due to salmonella contamination.
  • About Salmonella:
    • Group of bacteria causing gastrointestinal illness (salmonellosis) with fever.
    • Lives in animal intestines and spreads through feces.
    • Transmission: Contact with infected animals or contaminated items.
    • Symptoms: Diarrhea, fever, stomach cramps.
    • High-risk groups: Young children, elderly, immunocompromised individuals.


5.Paradox of Thrift 

  • Concept by: John Maynard Keynes (1936, The General Theory of Employment, Interest, and Money).
  • Idea: Increased individual savings can lead to a decrease in overall savings in an economy.
  • Explanation:
    • Traditional view: Higher savings lead to higher overall savings.
    • Paradox of Thrift: Increased savings can lead businesses to decrease investment due to lower expected demand, reducing overall economic activity and savings.
  • In essence: Saving might be good for individual households but potentially harmful for the broader economy.


6.Bisphenol A (BPA) 

In News: Concerns arise over chemicals leaching from plastics, including Bisphenol A (BPA).

About BPA:

  • Chemical used in polycarbonate plastics (shatterproof windows, eyewear, water bottles).
  • Also found in epoxy resins lining food cans and water pipes.


  • Primarily through diet: BPA leaches from can linings and plastic containers.
  • Minor exposure through air, dust, and water.

Health Concerns:

  • Potential endocrine disruptor linked to:
    • Reproductive disorders
    • Obesity
    • Increased cancer risk


7.The Great Rift Valley 

Location and Extent:

  • One of the longest rifts on Earth, stretching 4,000 miles (6,400 km) in East Africa.
  • Runs from Jordan to Mozambique, crossing Eritrea, Djibouti, Ethiopia, Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda, Rwanda, Burundi, DRC, Malawi, Zambia, and Mozambique.
  • Part of a larger feature called the East African Rift System (EARS).


  • Formed around 40 million years ago due to tectonic plate movement and splitting.
  • Average width: 30-40 miles (48-64 km), reaching a maximum of 300 miles (480 km) in the Danakil Desert.
  • Steep valley walls rise 3,000 feet (900 meters) on average, with some cliffs reaching 9,000 feet (2,700 meters).

Geological Activity:

  • Geologically active region with volcanoes, hot springs, geysers, and frequent earthquakes.

Lakes and Mountains:

  • Series of 30 lakes along its length, including the three largest in Africa:
    • Lake Tanganyika (second deepest globally)
    • Lake Victoria (second-largest freshwater lake by surface area)
  • Many of Africa’s highest mountains border the Rift Valley, including Mount Kilimanjaro, Mount Kenya, and Mount Margherita.

What is a Rift Valley?

  • Lowland region formed by tectonic plates moving apart.
  • Found on land and the ocean floor (seafloor spreading).
  • Different from river valleys and glacial valleys (formed by erosion, not tectonic activity).


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